Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus)


American burying beetle

Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Zoo


Status: Endangered, listed July 13, 1989


Habitat: Many types of habitat, with a slight preference for grasslands and open understory oak hickory forests. However, the beetles need carrion the size of a dove or a chipmunk to reproduce. Carrion availability may be the greatest factor determining where the species can survive.


Lead Region: 2


Region 3 Lead Office: Ohio Field Office


Range: Arkansas, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas

Status Review for Two Midwestern Species includes American Burying Beetle

March 16, 2016

The American burying beetle is included in a batch of 90-findings in response to petitions to list, delist and reclassify 29 species. The Service has received a petition to delist this beetle for which there is substantive information to warrant a thorough assessment.

More information ยป


Reintroduction in Missouri

Reintroduction Slideshow


News Release (March 21, 2012) - Colorful Endangered Beetle to Return to Southwest Missouri


Federal Register Final Rule: Establishment of a Nonessential Experimental Population of American Burying Beetle in Southwestern Missouri (March 22, 2012)


St. Louis Zoo's Center American Burying Beetle Conservation


Natural History and Status Information:

Fact Sheet


South Dakota Field Office Fact Sheet


American burying beetle: We couldn't live without them (from the StLToday.com)


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Species Profile


American Burying Beetle 5-Year Review: March 2008 (53-page PDF 3.43MB)


Recovery Actions

News Release (May 17, 2012): Celebrate Endangered Species Day! Bring back the Endangered American Burying Beetle


Surveying for the American burying beetle (Saint Louis Zoo; Oct. 7, 2009) - YouTube Video


June 9, 2009: American Burying Beetle Reintroduction: Endangered Species Returned to Wayne National Forest


Recovering a Strange, Elusive Gravedigger by Hayley Dikeman in Spring 2009 Endangered Species Technical Bulletin


Reintroducing the American Burying Beetle (Aug. 2008)



Midwest Endangered Species Home


Last updated: July 19, 2016